The R&D Workshop No.9


Welcome to another edition of The R&D Workshop. I wish I could say that the type of post I'm going to put out each week is more planned, for the newly published ones that is, but lately it has been a game of which one is done first? Which one seems the most relevant this particular week? What’s on my mind?

If you haven't been following my blog by way of social media, in particular Facebook or Twitter, then you might not be privy to the fact that I've been re-posting older posts every other week. I call them “refurbished” because that's what I basically do to them. I have been moving sequentially with those, going from when I restarted my blog to the present day. I don’t plan on sharing any Electric Feast posts, so that’s an archive search for you, reader, if you’re up for it. (I do make it easy in the menu...) More on my refurbishing in the last section of this post.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but it has been getting particularly tough to move forward with my works of passion. Not for the lack of drive or ideas, but for the abundance of everything clamoring for my time. I do love the overtime I get at work so that I can provide for my family, give us a comfortable life, and achieve my financial goals, but it does wear on my soul. I was really hopeful for September considering the start of the school year, but I quickly realized in August that September had magically turned into an even greater obstacle course than it previously was. The rest of the year has slowly turned into that as well with pockets of hope in between. I’m not going to plan on things working out in my favor, even though I feel there is some promise in those pockets.

I want to have more time to write for my blog and post some more of those standalone, long-form posts that dive into the meat of a subject—they tend to take more time to write. I want to be able to work on music, sparingly at the very least, and get a few projects done on/to the studio itself before the hells of winter settle in. I want to make some real progress experimenting with things in other areas that I'd love to tell you about, but I think it would be silly to say a word about them until I feel like those things are actually going somewhere. Let's just say, I've got a lot I want to do, a lot I want to accomplish. I want to try doing new things, to give them a go. Trust me—I've been working on squeezing more time out of the day, especially this year. More on that 'squeezing' in a future post.


Graham Sedam, blog, thoughts, life, interests, writing, South Dakota, Wyoming, vista, vistas, sky, clouds, horizon, landscape
A picturesque view in South Dakota or Wyoming from a family vacation. (2009)



Morning Routine UPDATE!

I’ve mentioned plenty in the past that I like to read in the morning when my mind is fresh. I’ve also commented that I like to write in the morning for the same reason. Two sides of the same coin, really. The lack of satisfaction I’ve had with my writing progress for the last few months and what I can foresee ahead has lead me to decide on changing up my morning routine. My focus when I get up now, Monday through Sunday, will be writing. Sure, maybe I sleep in one day and that goes out the window. That’s okay. It’s about the cumulative time. Actually, it’s always about the cumulative time—no matter what you do.

As some of you readers know, I have read out of a book in the morning before work on the days that I go to the-place-that-pays-me-to-show-up. Now, I will write, so I’ll have to figure out how to tackle the book reading; I read plenty on my phone. On my non-work days, my previous morning routine was to stretch, drum, strength train, and then run. I would actually knock out quite a lot of my daily goals. My wife admits that she WAS getting jealous of my productivity and that caused some arguments about my morning routine, even if she encouraged me in the beginning. (Wives, sigh, am I right?) However, her marathon training trumped the morning routine that I had set into motion and was thriving at. It made sense for her to start long runs early in the morning before it started getting too warm, so I tried to not complain too much as long as she stuck to the schedule she set. It made me incredibly happy to be knocking out my goals daily, and it was, admittedly, a bit of a blow to my optimism and drive.

I often view my life right now as being akin to a GPS. I have a route plan, but there are plenty of wrong turns, unforeseen construction, and random roadside attractions that draw my attention. Essentially, I’m constantly recalculating. So, why make a plan? Well, it’s still a solid practice, and that route still leads to where I want to go. I’m still recalculating with the same end in sight, it just takes a little longer to get there some days. I’ve taken the aimless and semi-aimless routes before. Ultimately, it doesn’t work for me, and I’m not happy.

To be honest, I’m not terribly sad now about my morning routine changing. All good things must change, eventually. Plus, routines get stale if one doesn’t “mix it up.” I think those other things that I did (stretching, drumming, strength training, running) are just as easily done, if not better served, at other times of the day. I have to think about and experiment with when the best time to do something is—for my mind or body—not just whether I have the time. Sometimes, it WILL simply come down to when I have the time. I’ve been writing in the morning this week before work, because I have a lot of overtime to work this week and next, and I want to keep moving forward on writing posts. My good experiences with morning writing, the blissful quiet of the house before anyone else wakes up, and my fresh-minded productivity have been catalysts for this change. I have to justify my Chromebook purchase to myself now, but I still see its usefulness. Besides, $250 for a laptop is nothing.

I’m excited about this change.


Graham Sedam, blog, thoughts, life, interests, writing, cats, cat, shelf, shelves, home improvements, garage, work bench, tools
Three steps that I made for the cat to get to the small window in the basement. This picture was taken before I put new carpet on them after The Flood of 2016. We changed the basement carpet from tan to gray. The carpet on these steps didn't get wet or damaged. It was merely a cosmetic "it doesn't match" kind of thing. (2017)



The One Dollar Question

I've been questioned a couple of times as to why I refurbish and re-share posts. It’s a fair question. I’m certainly not offended—good luck with that. To me, it makes perfect sense. So, let me explain.

1) It's an opportunity for me to improve upon past posts. I'm better now than I was a year ago and that includes my writing and abilities to put together a good post. If you’ve been following along, you’ll see that I’ve been adding pictures to my picture-less posts. Grammatical mistakes, whether missed the first time around or based upon new knowledge acquired since, are corrected. Do I like how I phrase every sentence? Maybe not a year later. Have I made changes in how I format my posts, including the footer I add to each one? Yes. Update.

Note: I don’t touch my Electric Feast posts. I consider those my blog's time capsules. The posts I have refurbished and re-shared are from my blog’s reboot onward (2016 to present). At some point, I can see myself resetting that time capsule parameter to include more posts. Or, maybe I'll just refurbish and re-share the ones I find to be more timeless. Always recalculating.

2) Why should I let those older posts sit lonely in the abyss of the forgotten internet? Sure, they still slowly accumulate hits, but why not give them a bit of a boost? They are still stories, experiences, thoughts, and such from my life. Having been published a year ago may not be terribly relevant to their relevance. I work hard on my blog and my posts, despite what you may think. Why should I work on them, publish, and then let them be forgotten, mostly, from there on? I don't think that most people will or would go through my blog post archives post by post. Which leads into my next point…

3) Not everyone has read them. I understand that not all of my social media friends are going to be dedicated readers of my blog. However, was I even friends with a particular person when I first published the post? Were they even present on social media that week? Did they happen to miss it? Are they more interested in reading it now than they were then? What about all of the people that I’m not friends with that come across my blog or social media profiles? There is plenty of reading material on the internet that is older than the current week and still has value. I’ve read incredibly relevant posts/articles that are years old. When I’ve had as many hits on a post as there are people on the planet, I’ll gladly stop sharing those particular posts.

4) It’s a good practice, a good reminder for my mind and soul. It’s very interesting to see how far I’ve come with my blog. Does it improve? I hope so. I guess that’s a matter of opinion. Maybe seeing my old posts will give you a better perspective? It does for me.

Would I like to publish a new post every week? Yes! In a perfect world, I would have one or two new posts and a refurbished (repeat) one to share. Maybe that’s overboard? Since that is highly unlikely given the current circumstances, the schedule and process I'm executing now will continue, and it works. I have much that I need to do and even more that I want to do. Because, even in the best circumstances, I would be doing so many other things with my time, too.


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The R&D Workshop is a recurring feature where I talk candidly about my works of passion and associated things.


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